, FEBRUARY 23, 2007
 (STAR) PENNY LANE By Rebecca C. Rodriguez - Technology has made modern life easier and more convenient. These days, we can carry our entire record collection in one portable MP3 player, watch videos and take snapshots using our mobile phones, as well as shop or transact business using a single piece of plastic. According to trusted techies Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, things will only get better.

Cash is a good thing. However, if you are not the type of person to carry a large amount in your wallet for fear of losing it, then Smart Money is perfect for you. The magic now lies in a single card that is powered by MasterCard Electronic.

Catering to all market segments, Smart Money is helping people from this part of the world to shift to cashless transactions to make life practical, easier and more convenient. As a Smart subscriber, whether prepaid or postpaid, all you need to do is to visit a Smart Wireless Center and fill out the Smart Money information sheet. Just remember to bring an ID. If you pay a P200 loyalty fee, you can earn reward points. Some Smart Wireless Centers have a printer, in which case you can get your card in five minutes; otherwise, the card is sent to your address. The card costs P200. However, if you want to use Smart Money for just wireless transactions and have no need of a card to withdraw from an ATM or use it as a debit card when shopping, you donít pay anything as enrolling in the service is free.

The award-winning and innovative Smart Money card combines the strength of Smartís mobile services  and MasterCardís wide merchant acceptance network. So, there are no limits with what you can do with the Smart Money card because itís accepted in all MasterCard Electronic establishments in 210 countries. Another great thing about this is that you can send cash safely and conveniently anywhere in the country with your cell phone.

The Smart Money card is linked to your Smart mobile phone and can be used to withdraw money from ATMs and make purchases from any merchant accepting MasterCard Electronic. The card itself has a magnetic stripe at the back, like a credit card or an ATM card, containing information about your balance, allowing a merchant to swipe your card and determine whether or not you have enough money in your card to cover your purchase.

The cardholder is provided with two personal identification numbers. The first is the wireless PIN (w-PIN) unique to each Smart Money card, which he uses to do Smart Money transactions through his Smart cell phone ó like transfer money to another Smart Money account, reload your Smart Buddy over the air (instead of using prepaid cards or e-load), pay your utility and other bills, and make balance inquiries through Smartís Mobile Banking Solutions (MBS). Participating banks in MBS include Asiatrust Bank, Bank of Commerce, DBP, IBank, Insular Bank, Keppel Bank, Maybank, Premiere Bank, Allied Bank, Citystate Bank, East West Bank, Equitable PCI Bank, Metrobank, Security Bank and Union Bank.

The second PIN that the user receives is an ATM PIN, sent in a mailer slip, which he uses to withdraw money at Banco de Oro (which charges P3 per withdrawal) from Expressnet and Megalink (both charge P11 per withdrawal) ATMs.

So you get the conveniences of having a savings account without really having to open a bank account, because of easy over-the-counter reloading at participating establishments. To load cash to your Smart Money account, just go to a Smart Wireless Center, Banco de Oro branch or Smart Padala participating outlet. Just fill out a cash load slip, give the money to be loaded, and wait for the confirmation message when the money has been loaded to your account.

If you lose your Smart Money card, you need not worry. Smart provides a subscriber with guaranteed security. The money is stored safely in the bank (Banco de Oro) and not in the physical card. If you lose the card, you can lock it using your mobile phone by calling the Smart Money customer care hotline.

Whoever thought we could manage money from our cell phones? Whether itís the simple task of inquiring about your balance, or transferring funds from your card to another card, or transferring funds from your separate bank account to your Smart Money, you need not be physically present in your bankís branch or queue at an ATM . A subscriber can monitor an account easily. All you need to do is access the Smart Money account through the cell phone to monitor your balance (and accumulated points, too, for its reward program). Funds transfer can be done in a flash. If you need or want to send emergency cash to someone else, you can transfer funds through the Smart Money Menu that is found in your SIM card. And if you want to transfer money from a separate bank account to your Smart Money account or reload your Smart Buddy, Smartís Mobile Banking Solutions makes these possible, too. All you need to do is apply for mobile banking service via Smart at any participating bank where you have an existing current or savings account.

Finally, there is now no need to carry large amounts of cash or change and no worries either about losing cash. All you need is Smart Money.

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For inquiries, call the Smart Money hotline for free using your cell phone at 15177, using a landline at 845-7777, or toll-free 1-800-1-888-5648.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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